Thursday, July 16, 2009

New Perspectives



I think the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Sonia Sotomayor are more of an anthropological event than anything else. No matter how you feel about her, it seems clear that her nomination has brought up to the surface all kinds of unnattractive foundational-level American values. Some of us are still so incredibly sexist and racist. Others among us truly turned the page a generation ago. There are real feminists, male and female - which is cool, except that somehow we feminists have been unable to drop our self-righteousness. Oh dear. An anthropologist from another planet could create a lengthy dissertation about core American values based solely on the media coverage of the confirmation hearings.

It's been awhile since I was able to notice anything happening around me, as involved as I was with Jake's last downturn and death. Yesterday the Sufi acupuncturist told me my eyes and ears have been blocked from sensing new perspectives. He did a treatment intended to help me see and hear. That was some treatment!

There's a way in which this feeling of standing upright again after being knocked down by grief is, in some way, disloyal. In the back of my mind I've wondered if feeling better might mean I didn't love Jake with all my heart. But that's crap, isn't it?

33 comments:

Jopan said...

yes thats crap. I lost Monkey my cat and i loved him and i still get upset about him but 99% of the time i get on with my life and everything is fine. Its a nataral coping mechanisem, which we would go mad without. it doesn't mean you didn't love him it means you're starting to except and cope with his lose. Its a good thing really.

Peaches said...

We honor the dead by living fully in the now.

JC said...
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ellen abbott said...

Yes, that's crap. (I thought it needed repeating.) You're still alive. How can you live if you continue to swim in grief?

JC said...

It's all a process ... and I've been in your shoes ... you are doing good.

Give it time ... and before long you will have just the memories ... and life will be different but good ... again.

I read and saw just a bit about the hearings ... always an interesting thing ... I do wonder how some of these .. men (mostly) ... get into office ...

(Again, the fingers were not dancing to the beat of the coffee .. spell check take me away)

ellen abbott said...

It continues to amaze me the we continue to judge women and people of color by different standards than we do white males. I was reading another blog about this. One point is that the reason our culture still does this is because we perceive 'white male' as the norm. You don't question the norm, all else is compared to it.

Joanne said...

Yes, it is. Love evolves, changes, takes different shapes. Like your reflections, I suppose. It's there, but you might have to do a double take, or decipher it, or recognize it, as it changes.

rlbourges said...

yep :-)

enjoy Washington. Gorgeous colors in those shots.

Deborah said...

yes, it is crap
and so is the inevitable relief

love you so

Nancy said...

Yeah, that's crap. Jopan and Peaches are absolutely right.

lakeviewer said...

My, guilt from some recessed places tends to surface, doesn't it? We all feel guilty when we feel pleasure at the wrong time.

It means that you are facing you without Jake, and you can face that. It's recognizing that everything has a time-continuum, a beginning and an end. You are still going. You are still living. Without him.

I know this is of no help; but I was trying to understand it myself, how we can be both relieved and grieved at the same time. It's all right.

True Blue Texan said...

Life goes on whether we want it to or not. And over time our hearts heal. The amazing thing about love, whether it be for man or beast, is that once your heart has been exposed, it is more likely to find it again. I mourned my dog who I lost after 17 years but started a new love affair with my pup. I love him just as fiercely as I did Scooter. Life is for the living. Honor and remember the dead but continue to engage with life. Jake wouldn't want you to forget him, of course, but he wouldn't want to you close yourself off, either.

Ali said...

Yep...that's crap! :)

lacochran said...

Complete crap.

Reya Mellicker said...

Relieved and grieved, oh yeah. The greatest "truths" I know about all involve paradox, including this one.

Elizabeth said...

A lot of people saying it is crappy
to feel sad.
well it is, but it doesn't get us anywhere.
My favorite philosopher Jeremy Bentham, the utilitarian's, credo or question was "What is the use of it?"
The use of feeling sad is to process and come to terms with grief and sorrow, then, when processed, to go forward as joyfully as possible.
I like your honesty though, Reya.
And things are getting better
and Jake is OK
if he wanted anything for you
(and who can tell, really?)
but my best bet would be for you to be strong
and out there.
Hugs.

Siobhán said...

Yes. Pure crap.
But no crap to go through the process.

Chris Wolf said...

Loved the blue, pink and sunflower yellow happiness of the picture! Look, a new day is here!

Ronda Laveen said...

Outstanding photo. Your colorfulness and is returning. Disloyal to Jake's life and memory? Not a chance. You are starting to have joy for what you had with him and happiness that he is no longer stuck in that old, painful body. Onward and upward! Where have I heard that?

Meri said...

If he could, Jake would bound up, put his paws on your shoulders and lick some good common sense right into you, starting at your face. "Joy, Reya -- that's what it's all about! You're disloyal if you don't embody for me all the puppy joy I knew in this world now that I'm not here to do it myself. Fetch! I'm throwing the joy ball."

Margaret Gosden said...

You are still finding surprising ways to present lovely images of Washington and you are attending to what is going on in the swampy neighborhood of politics, so something must be working for you - may be Jake, behind the scenes, nudging you to get over it! That back and forth image is something else again - a symbolic reflection of some sort?

Reya Mellicker said...

Margaret, the back and forth slide show is meant to indicate that I'm shifting my focus away from my internal grief back to the world at large. Hmm ... guess it didn't work as well as I had hoped it would.

PurestGreen said...

I absolutely adore that top photo. What a great practice, just to go out and intentionally take photos from wild angles. Life suddenly changes. Great stuff.

ps - I'm about to fill in the word verification: kickem. Okay then.

Delwyn said...

Hi Reya

I was intrigued to see Sonyo Sotomayor wearing a moon boot...nothing can hold a woman back...

Perhaps the essence of dogs - that spontaneous joi de vivre and wild abandon is reminding you to get back into life. Feeling happy again and enjoying life doesn't diminish what you felt before, if anything it enhances it ...because the original set a precept...

Happy days

Cyndy said...

I noticed right away that message of the second photo set is that you are getting your focus back, but I could already tell that from the first photo. Jake would be proud, I think.

Mary Ellen said...

Hi, Reya. People pretty much said it all. It's quite an internal tug - the grief and sadness is also a continued connection, and letting go of it (even for a while) feels like losing that last link. I completely trust your innate sense of this internal rhythm, but it's quite a bumpy ride, yes? May you have peace and regain your full measure of joy and connection with the world outside.

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

yes indeed, that is crap! Exclamation point! Miss him, continue to love him, even grieve for him from time to time, but don't ever think you are disloyal to Jake or his memory.
Enjoy this vacation. I love San Francisco... what a great place to go, but I'm preaching to the choir, aren't I? ...and Tahoe, what a beautiful area.

poietes said...

Reya,
The photo with the sunflowers is an amazing burst of color, so beautiful, and an affirmation that you are moving on, however slowly that you need, and are still able to enjoy life.

Grief is very, very personal. Never doubt your journey through it.

The Sotomayor hearings are a farce. Why can we just not accept people as people, admire their talents, support their aspirations.

As I have gotten older, I find that I am more tolerant of some things, but far less tolerant of stupidity among politicians.

Mrsupole said...

When we stop "comparing" than we become equal. The judge has a problem by always comparing herself. She needs to stop doing that and accept who she is and what she has accomplished. Then she has the chance to be a great judge. Equal is equal and there is no inbetween. Men and women have differences which is what makes us who we are, but there are many, many things about us that are and should be equal.

When these equalities and differences are celebrated instead of disparaged, than we will truly have achieved equality.

You are moving on in life and that is so good. You will move at your own pace and that is all that matters. Grief moves on its own timeline and sometimes it moves fast and sometimes it moves slowly. Just as long as it is moving is what is important. Grief that is stagnant is unhealthy, so it is really great to see it moving. And it can last for many years, just showing up here and there. Nothing wrong with that either. Our past is what makes us who we are and Jake is a very important part of you and always will be. Soon almost all of your memories will be of happy times with Jake and that will be so wonderful. This will be a time of great healing. You will be so blessed when this happens and Jake will be giving a big sigh and smile with love.

Enjoy life and great days are still to come for you.

God bless.

天天開心 said...
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Barbara Martin said...

There is a time to grieve, and a time to move on. You should never feel guilty about the time spent in grief, but recognize that you must not dwell in a pool of sorrows for too long.

In time you will be able to experience new things without your old friend, and as I do on occasion, go to a previous favourite spot with a past dog or the horse in my avatar and talk to them about it. It's a step in the process, and it does not remove your love for Jake in any way.

So, off you go, Reya, to open your mind and ears to experience new vibrations that will set you on the intended path.

lettuce said...

ah reya dear.
yes, its crap.
but not unusual crap.

The Fibers of Life said...

Dear Reya,
I love your picture on this blog. I adore sunflowers and the juxtaposition of them in front of the colorful houses is wonderful.

Would you consider giving me permission to make a copy for myself? It is just a happy picture.